Will Davenport, Vicar of Grantchester
“Making mistakes is easy. Forgiving ourselves is the hard part.”
Will Davenport is the vicar of Grantchester, played by Tom Brittney in Grantchester Seasons 4 and 5 on MASTERPIECE on PBS. After the departure of Sidney Chambers (James Norton), Will was named vicar of the eponymous village outside of Cambridge. An affable, energetic man in his late twenties, Will is a fan of rock n’ roll, and arrived in Granchester clad in leather, on a motorcycle. He has a strong sense of right and wrong, and has—much to others’ surprise and many’s disappointment—chosen a life of celibacy until marriage.
Will Davenport was raised on a Suffolk estate by an aristocratic family. But the stately home’s beautiful exterior belied the family’s empty coffers and ugliness of what went on behind closed doors. Will’s father, Thomas Davenport (Nathaniel Parker) was violent and abusive toward his son and his wife. He taunted Will about his chosen profession and tried to shame him for not choosing a lucrative career. When Will turned 16, his father took him to Biarritz and paid for a prostitute for his son and himself. Will fell in love with her, much to his father’s bitter amusement. A year later, Will had an affair with an older, married woman, Meredith, who got pregnant and had an abortion. His father described missing this version of his son, telling Geordie, “He used to be such a riot, you know. Girls, drink, tearing around on that bike of his.” Will’s turn to the church was a repudiation of his father’s way of life, a hope for redemption, and an attempt to save souls. Meanwhile, he took a self-imposed vow of celibacy.
Previously a chaplain at Corpus Christi, Cambridge, Will was considered by the dean, much like Sidney before him, to be a “boat-rocker” and a “liability.” Will Davenport was named vicar of Grantchester in Episode 3 of Season 4, in an institution service presided over by the Bishop of Ely. Mrs. Chapman, of course, initially disapproved of his youth, disregard for convention, and request that parishioners call him Will. But with his easy smile and extra sermons, Reverend Will Davenport was more than ready to fill the role.
As for his side hustle solving crimes with Geordie, Will initially resisted aiding the police, but before long, he was all in, telling Leonard, “It’s a strange thing, helping him—it felt like I was exactly where God needed me to be.”
Motorcycles, rock n’ roll, and boxing.
Crime-solving, sign language